Venice: Broadcasters protest ‘unprecedented’ restrictions on red carpet, press conference coverage
The Venice Film Festival has, for the first time in its history, blocked international news services and broadcasters, other than Italian state broadcaster Rai TV, from filming festival press conferences and severely limited footage which they are licensed to use since the Venice Gala in Venice Red. the rugs.
The move, which veteran festival-goers are calling “unprecedented,” presents news services AP, Getty and Reuters up in arms. The three groups, which provide daily video footage and media coverage of the festival to broadcasters around the world, have written a joint letter to the festival protesting the restrictions, which they say arose at the last minute.
“The first we heard about it was on Wednesday [the first day of the festival] When, before we could get our accreditation back, we had to sign a version, in Italian, binding us to these new rules,” said an editor at one of the big three news services, speaking on condition of anonymity for that their company “figures” on its legal position.
Citing “Italian law,” the restrictions say news services can use a maximum of 90 seconds of footage from each red carpet event. At the premiere of the night for bones and all, that would have pretty much covered star Timothee Chalamet leaving his car and heading towards the crowd of screaming fans. For the festival’s press conferences, video news services have been banned entirely and can only use 90 seconds of footage provided to them by Rai, the festival’s official broadcaster.
“It basically prevents us from reporting on the festival, from doing the job that we came here,” said a reporter from one of the major news services. “You can’t tell the story of a complicated movie in 90 seconds, with some treble.”
Venice’s official broadcaster, Rai, who paid handsomely for the privilege, pledges to shoot every red carpet and official press conference at the 79th Biennale festival in return for some exclusivity. This, in itself, is nothing new. Many major events – from film festivals to award shows to sports tournaments – are signing similar broadcasting agreements. At this year’s Cannes festival, French public network France Television was the only channel allowed to film the opening and closing ceremonies, for example, with other broadcasters having to use their footage. But Venice has never told third-party broadcasters there are limits to how much of their own footage they can use.
“The idea that we can’t use material that we’ve shot ourselves, that we have the copyright to, is absurd,” said One Wire Service Editor.
Others have accused the Venice festival of violating media access laws by not letting broadcasters film press conferences.
“The red carpet is one thing, but not letting us into press conferences means our reporters can’t do their job,” another editor noted. “Often the press conference is the only opportunity we have to ask questions of the director or the stars of a film.”
The restrictions may have wider implications for the marketing and promotion of film screenings in Venice. One of the main appeals of a festival premiere on the Lido is the extensive global coverage of red carpet galas and press conferences, coverage that helps build buzz around a film and can be used to pull part of the public interest before its release. Netflix, which has four films competing at Venice this year, has an exclusive deal with Getty to shoot all of its red carpet premieres, but will now only be able to use a minute and a half of each. Netflix declined to comment for this story.
When asked, the Venice Film Festival declined to comment for this story, but the law cited in the new regulations appears to be a reference to EU media access law. The legislation requires networks to have exclusive broadcast contracts for major public events in Europe to provide some of their footage to third-party broadcasters.
The law states that a “minimum” of 90 seconds must be provided. The law was designed to ensure that the media could not be locked down for major events in which it was deemed to be clearly in the public interest. A broadcast executive, with knowledge of the legislation, called its use to restrict media access “a reversal of the spirit of the law”.
On Friday, representatives from the information services met with the festival to discuss the restrictions but, speaking to The News84Media In the background, he said they don’t expect anything to change this year.
“It’s something we have to accept, unfortunately,” one editor noted. “But if these rules remain in place, we will have to reassess whether we want to return to the Venice Film Festival next year.”
The News84Media contacted Rai for comment.